Alan Gardner at Essex 97-5 v Lancashire 319
Stephen Parry's first Championship wicket since he removed Adam Lyth (for 251) in the Roses match in September 2014 has definitely tipped things Lancashire's way here at Chelmsford. Brought on for the obligatory over before lunch, he tossed one up and got Dan Lawrence pushing forward, with Liam Livingstone snaffling a low edge. Lawrence played pretty well for his 37, Essex's top score so far, but will rue that lapse in concentration with the interval approaching.
Three wickets went down during the morning session, though Essex still have some batting to come - in part because one of the men to depart yesterday evening was Aaron Beard, in as nightwatchman. James Anderson looked a little narked not to get Varun Chopra caught behind, after a confident appeal was turned down; but Chopra than flapped at a short, wide ball from Kyle Jarvis to provide the breakthrough after a patient opening 40 minutes and Tom Westley fell to Anderson in the following over, fencing at a rising ball outside off.
Essex hopes are now pinned to the mercurial Ravi Bopara, whose most recent Championship hundred is even more distant than that Parry wicket. He waited until his 14th ball to get off the mark, with a neatly timed straight four, and has progressed warily to 11 from 53. Two seasons ago, he made 99 in this (Division Two) fixture against Lancashire, before becoming one of Anderson's seven victims. He'd like to go one run further, of course, but Essex would stick a flake in another 99 today.